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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  August 27, 2011 12:00am-1:00am EDT

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leaders and federal agencies as they made recommendations and >> tonight is this the worse case scenario. then course those state leaders hurricane irene so big you can see it from space. made decisions. >> irene is passing over the >> poppy harlow, my colleague horizon from us now. was saying earlier she's in lower manhattan, people are she's definitely a big storm and suggesting it cube surge of people in her way better batten down the hatches. water between six and 12 feet >> slamming down into the east coast. high in parts of manhattan. >> i can't stress this highly enough. including ground zero. is that a likely prospect, do if you're in the projected path you think from everything you're of this hurricane, you have to take precautions now. now looking at? >> 65 million people in danger. >> in a worse case scenario, 12 feet is possible. >> to all the people in eastern right now given the track the north carolina, good luck and our prayers are with you. storm is oranges given the wind >> mandatory evacuations, time speeds we're measuring, the speed of the storm itself, what to get out right now. we see in our projections are >> you have to get out. sadly there's a timing issue. >> we've never done a mandatory timing is everything. there's a high tide, a moon tide evacuation before and we if you will that will be wouldn't be doing it now if we occurring in new york at the time that the hurricane is about didn't think this storm had the to make landfall. potential to be very serious. >> we're tracking this monster so, there's about a one-foot minute by minute and going live increase over a normal high tide into the storm zone. at the battery, and right now it this is "piers morgan tonight." looks to us like there's a four to five-foot surge that will accompany this storm at the
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good evening, we're covering every angle of hurricane irene battery. tonight from north carolina, a five to six-foot surge at that level. with landfalls expected in a that's not 12 feet. but of course that's based on matter of hours to new york city the current track of the storm where unprecedented mandatory and current intensity. evacuations are under way. something that changes from hour to hour as your weather -- thousands of flights are >> there are serious concerns cancelled on the east coast. that the reason everyone in jfk is closing to international arrivals tomorrow at noon. major highways are closing down authority is getting so as i speak. there are unprecedented shutdowns, transit system in new publicly, not panicky but york and philadelphia. atlantic casinos and hotels are shuttered. certainly very concerned about broadway is going dark for the weekend. new york is that it's not really will this storm be the big one geared up to take this kind of that millions of people now fear? surge. i want to begin in north carolina where brian todd is in the thick of it. what is your view from a military point of view? looks pretty rough. >> well, as a partner with new york city, office of emergency we seem to have lost brian management, of course in the state of new york, the fema there. regions, three fema regions in the area, region one in new england, region two here in new it is rough down there. york and puerto rico in the communication is hard. servir going islands. brian, you're back, i think. region three which is the mid-atlantic states. >> reporter: can you hear me, piers? virginia through maryland, pennsylvania and new jersey. can you hear okay?
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>> you just keep talking. the preparations here are good. the capacity is actually very good. >> reporter: okay. new york city as an emergency we're going to show you the storm surge here. management planning organization [ inaudible ] and a city that has the capacity to act on its own is an amazing resource. rain, wind. i mean this is an incredible [ inaudible ] workforce in terms much police, fire, emergency responders. pushing up against the pier. you have tremendously talented [ inaudible ] team here, commissioner bruno and mayor bloomberg. [ wind blowing ] this is a city that can take a lot of actions on its own and they are already doing so. impacted by the storm. you can see the steps they have taken in advance of the storm, sort of i think are more aggressive, more well informed than we've seen in the past. >> i'll have to leave threw. if you're not out of here by now thank you very much indeed. >> thank you for having me. you can't get out. >> when we come back i'll talk to the point man on hurricane irene. [ inaudible ] people don't stay out here for long, piers. >> brian, we can't hear you well but what we can see is most
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extraordinary scenes behind you. we'll try to make that connection a bit better. we'll go chad myers. we can see there from brian todd the power of this hurricane and it is clearly heading as you've been predicting now for a while rit down the east coast. tell me exactly what we are looking at as we speak now. >> we're looking at a hurricane that's actually getting a little bit stronger tonight. it's getting its act together. there's the eye of the storm. brian todd right here wrightsville beach, wilmington. this is the closest pass he'll get. the storm will move on up towards cape hatteras region which is northeast of him. but he's really now -- look at all these waves, wave after wave of significant rainfall moving into brian's location. that's why it was so difficult much he's right there at that point. so difficult to get that communication. wilmington now has picked up over five inches of rainfall and literally hasn't even started.
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we still have 12 or 15 more hours, piers of more heavy rainfall. there cube foot of rain right where brian todd is. you have the water coming in from the ocean and another foot of rain trying to wash down the rivers, significant flash flooding is going to occur right there. >> chad, to try to comprehend the scale of this. i heard you earlier and it startled me to say this hurricane, this storm is bigger than the size of europe. is that right? >> that is absolutely correct. let me show you a satellite right here. i measured it myself last night. i went on to google. plotted it on google. if you go from the northern edge where the cloud cover is all the way back to charleston and down south and circle that you gate square mile, mileage bigger than france, spain, all of northern europe, all of germany, all the way over to where my parents are from, from hungary and czechoslavkia area, all the way i cannot stress this highly down and including italy. enough. you could cover up the entire
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if you are in the projected path main continent of europe with that storm right there. of this hurricane, you have to >> incredible scenes. take precautions now. the focus is on new york city. don't wait. not to belittle other places. don't delay. new york has not been hit of we all hope for the best but we have to be prepared for the anything of this magnitude for a worst. long time. >> president obama warning the looking at all the charts and we east coast to prepare for the talk to you about this. worst for hurricane irene. you're the guy who knows this 65 million people at risk, the stuff. what's the probability right government possibly picking up the pieces after this massive now, chad, if these charts are storm. that's the question for craig fugate the head of fema. accurate of this doing a direct hit on new york city? president obama seemed pretty serious there. have you been personally >> it's not a doomsday scenario. briefing him on irene? it's not the worst that possibly >> yes, we have. could ever happen. actually the day of the earthquake we briefed him and but what we have, part of this briefing him each day after. size, part of the size of the storm. >> and is there a good reason this is 250 miles around. for him to sound so serious? just in a radius from middle your going to feel now that it's almost inevitable that new york from here to here. the wind will be blowing for city will take a direct hit? hours in the same direction here. >> there's going to impacts and, that will pile water up. again, the hurricane center has think about taking a cup of coffee or a cup of tea and said that this forecast track is trying to cool it off with your pretty much not going to change. breath. we expect to it make landfall in you just blow on it to get the carolina and go up the east
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top cooled off. coast. you're blowing little ripples of so we're going to see impacts. that coffee or tea to the other side. that's a given. just how bad and where still now take it to be 100 needs to be determined, but mile-per-hour brett and keep we're preparing as state and blowing on it for the next 12 local officials are preparing hours you have a lot of water based upon this forecast. going in all in one direction. >> i mean, are your being overly there's the direction here. cautious, post-katrina? spinning by atlantic beach. not that anybody would possibly you do have landfall by 7:00 blame you for doing that, but a.m. tomorrow morning and all some people are suggesting as a the way -- this is 7:00 on slight overreaction this time to saturday night. make sure that that kind of the wind are now in new york thing couldn't possibly happen city blowing 39 miles per hour again? into the harbor and also now >> well, i don't know about that. into the long island sound. this is how i've always been all of that is going to funnel operating. this is how we did it when i was and puddle, basically, right in florida. this is what we do in the over the east river and into new present administration as we york harbor. bring the team together. get rid of that, put it we get the team ready. together. prepare for the worst and hope for the best. remember that is 7:00 p.m. we don't wait to find how bad it saturday. is before we get ready. ocean city, 2:00 a.m. is your >> what's the biggest concern landfall. for new york city? the storm doesn't even get to is it structural damage or new york until 10:00 a.m. the next day. potential flooding? i can add that up. that's 15 hours of the wind >> really the concern in new blowing the same direction, york city is going to be how much storm surge we get. pushing that wave of water into i think that's the factor that
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new york harbor and literally for the mayor and his team been flooding parts of manhattan. looking at why they are ordering evacuations. >> absolutely extraordinary. chad, as always, superb we could get wind damages and power outages. analysis. in the borough areas those areas we'll come back to you later in the show. susceptible to flooding is of for now poppy harlow is in lower manhattan. concern. unprecedented mand evacuation. >> mayor bloomberg ordered some poppy, we've never had a evacuations and the governor as mandatory evacuation in new york well. city. clearly there are sections of you live in the area that's being evacuated. that area which are being what's going on? evacuated. for people not in those are people leaving? are new yorkers who are known secretary shoints sensible now to be thinking about getting out for their resilience if i may of there if you can? dare suggest stubbornness. >> i think that's a decision are they taking this advice? that's case by case. are they leaving? really what you want to do is >> reporter: we are stubborn and make sure if you're not in the resilient but we know when we have to go. elevation zone you got supplies in case the power goes out or as mayor bloomberg said this there's disruptions in the storm is the stronger than all water. of us. you know where a safe place to be in the building. we're leaving immediately after again, we're not looking at the your show packing up my type of wind damage that causes apartment a few blocks from here the type of devastation we've and i'm going to go more inland seen in other storms. in manhattan. they are leaving, heeding the warning. you got a hotel right over here the principle threat for life to me on the southern tip of safety will be storm surge and battery park. flooding. ritz-carlton moving their hundreds of guests out to other >> i mean, as always you're fema hotels. headquarters seems remarkably
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calm there. correct. some are going to schools that are you feeling calm about this? are turning into shelters. do you feel like you're on top 91 shelters in new york city. of it? >> well, again, i look at this mayor bloomberg has called in and what the team here has 900 soldiers, the national worked for to get ready. again, right now the primary guard, 100 army vehicles to try activity has been elevation. to help, police officers will be other than puerto rico and the down here. virgin islands the mainland has where i'm standing, piers, to not been hit and that will give you a sense will be covered change tomorrow. with water. i think you'll see we've been no question about it starting working and prepared to get ready. early sunday morning. as it starts the damages we'll the mayor's office told me the see the operations increase here storm surge, get this from just as well as at the state and local level. a few feet behind me that water >> who funds this kind of thing? will come up six to 12 feet and because obviously we've been hit that is if we stay category 2. by a series of natural disasters if this storm intensifies, can that have been very costly recently. you believe it six to 12 feet. you know new york well. is there enough money in the kitty for this? ground zero well. how much of it is federal. ground zero is five blocks from how much of it is state? where i am. how does this work? it's in the eye of this storm. >> well, when we talk about disasters and we'll just talk it's shaped like a bathtub. about what government is doing you have the memorial there and when you do have disasters that you have much of ground zero are declared by the president, which is not built up yet. it is paid for by the u.s. i was on the 70th floor of tower one a week ago. taxpayers. but a shared expense with state it's not enclosed with glass. and local taxpayers.
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federal government cost shares it is literally open with about 75%. netting around it. state and local is 25% of that. can you imagine it being on the that's something again as water with this storm. taxpayers we do pay for. that's part of our responsibilities to each other >> people are not panicking but as citizens when times hit. certainly even the cold new but we got to remember we have a yorkers are beginning to think lot of volunteer organizations what is going on here, what will happen to us. that count on donations of folks how would you describe the mood to do the services they provide. of people on the streets in new york right now? so disasters are expensive but part of our shared responsibility to come to each >> i think it's let's get down other's needs when disaster to business. strikes. let's get out of dodge, if you will. >> are you confident the people let's get out of this neighborhood. of new york in particular are it's not just new york city, it listening in a tentative enough was staten island where i was way. earlier today. i was at a hospital one of the i heard someone make a joke, biggest in all of new york city. they were evacuating each and half a joke that new yorkers do every patient. tend to be quite obstinate when to give you some perspective, in people tell them what to do. your getting encouraging signs 150 years of that hospital being that evacuation is being taken open since 1861 they have never up by new yorkers? evacuated. >> yes. so, the city has never experienced anything like this. if mayor and his team has been it's getting more urgent by the pre-matter of fact why they are hour. doing it. tomorrow at noon, all mta is people are listening to that. shutting down. there's people second guess or new yorkers don't generally have cars. people get around on buses and delay but i think overall people on the trains.
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those are all shutting down under this is a situation they completely. need to get ready for. i asked the mayor's office will you have any emergency vehicles at least paying attention to it. to help people if they don't get hopefully they will do the out by noon and they said no. things that pill minutize the loss of life and hopefully >> poppy, i would suggest you gotten ready before we get the get the hell out of there. storm in the area. thank you very much. >> i know that fema is in good >> got it. hand. good luck. >> the army corps of engineers has a huge role in disaster we'll be watching as it response. transpires hour by hour. they put together a street by >> thanks piers. street prediction of what a storm surge would do to new york and it won't make anyone in the >> my next guest does indeed city breathe easier. think the biggest risk in the joining me now is the commander hurricane will come from the new yorkers. of the army corps of engineers. they survive terror attacks and blackouts you may underestimate thank you for joining me. the hurricane. the professor from school of a lot of people now making some earth and sciences. pretty forbidding comments from the president down warpeds. professor koch, you think maybe what is your view? what is the sense you're getting new yorkers having been through about the reality of this hurricane and in particular a so much may not be that keen to direct hit on new york city? evacuating? >> well, obviously it's a very >> well, i don't think that they serious storm. thank you very much for having take things seriously. me on tonight, piers. they feel that they've been we are contributing to the team through so much and they also effort and i want to highlight the corps of engineers is one feel that hurricanes are component of a federal, state something that happen on coasts
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and local team that's work took with palm trees. prepared for the storm and then to respond immediately in and that's where they are wrong. mitigation and recovery. fema is in the lead for the the historical record of new federal government and state and local elected officials are the york shows that it was directly hit by hurricanes in 1821, and leaders and the managers of this effort and the federal team in 1893. works in support of them. and we felt that the great 1938 there's bean lot of great risk communication and planning for hurricane, even though it was 70 miles away out on long island, tworts while everybody here including us hopes for the best. caused considerable damage in this storm itself, our the city. contributions to the hurricane so here we have a track that modelling with noaa have allowed we're not quite sure exactly us to develop the tracks and follow them. where it's going to hit. this storm is following tracks the right side of the hurricane will be the most dangerous side and right now it looks like that like bill, edna and gloria has followed in the past. might be on long island. however, i think that we under estimate the wind damage. we're watching it very closely with noaa and keeping track and remember when you have wind and adjusting that track model the whole time. behind me is a graphic from our you speed up the wind like if core map viewers that shows the you have a hose and you squeeze the hose, the water goes faster. current track as it is and infrared shot of the storm the same thing happens between itself. sky scrapers. that sucks the windows out. right now, the centerline impact we've seen that in the hurricanes in houston. shows that it's going happen streets are littered with glass. right around the nassau county suffolk county line on long the strength of those hurricanes
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island. in houston was about the level yesterday that line was through, that we're expecting to come in. right at the direct hit of new now this is a very wide storm york. with a big radius of maximum in if this storm moves west, it winds. could be. moves east it will make people it's also moving relatively certainly in new york and long slowly and could considerably island breathe easier. die out as it hits the colder but it leaves boston, rhode island, massachusetts that could waters because generally the bear the brunt. we're tracking it closely. only way to really hit the south our models contributed to shore of long island is to have something called the hurricane a hurricane that's moving at evacuation models that have least 35 miles per hour forward. helped inform state and local so, we will have maximum surge because new york is in the right angle and thing right an simple a killer in terms of surge because as the hurricane moves in, the winds at the front of the hurricane push the coastal waters westward, and into that right angle and you can't push water intoing a right angle without it going up. so we're going experience much higher than predicted by our computer water levels. and now if the winds stay 80 miles per hour or even if they
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decrease to 80 miles per hour, we're going to see significant wind damage. we've had an awful lot of rain and we have a heck of a lot of more rain to come. that will soften the soils and the trees will go over and the power lines will go over. so we're going to have a three ring circus no matter what happens in the level of the storm. >> professor, obviously a lot of people will be on the east coast, listen towing, pretty gloomy picture you're painting here. you studied a lot of hurricanes in your time. will it be as bad as many people prophecy here? >> my gut feeling it won't be as bad because i think the storm will start as it starts to shear. the older hurricanes were category 1 and category 2. people make a big mistake when they use this scheme. if a hurricane comes in at high
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tide, comes in with a lot of rain, will have a very different thing than one that comes in at low tide and the ground is dry. in other words we rely far too much on the saffir-simpson scale. are on the right side or left side of the storm? how fast is the storm moving, the faster it moves the faster the wind are on the right side. so we do not have a realistic picture of expectative hurricane damage and that is a dangerous thing. >> finally, if you would give me a one word answer, if you're in new york now, should you leave? >> if you're living under an altitude of 30 feet, yes. >> professor koch thank you very much indeed. coming up next two all-star storm chaser and another man who heads into storms as others leave, sam champion. ♪
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if you thought this was weakening it has not weakened, the last advisories, we're still dealing with 100-mile an hour winds. 100-mile per hour winds.
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category 2 storm, 140 kilometers south of cape hatteras right now continuing to make that normally move. is beginning to shift to the right so it has begun a north northeasterly movement. the reader is impressive. the outer rain bands have been pummeling the atlantic and southeastern u.s. over the last several hours. we have been talking about this long duration of and, once you feel those tropical force winds, they will be on top of you for about 24 hours as a result of the sheer size of the storm. it will take awhile for the field to move to. wilmington at 45 kph winds. sustained winds. take it to the track and show you what will happen over the next several days. no significant change as far as the velocity. what we think will happen. north carolina landfall 8:00 a.m. as we take you into the next several hours. conditions will deteriorated continue to do so and then move to the north and east. york city is still dealing with a category 1 hurricane as we take you into the early-morning
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of sunday here with 80-mile an hour winds and then heading off to the north and east, storm surge will be significant along with wind and rain. we will keep you updated throughout the night and that is the latest from cnn hurricane headquarters here to stay with cnn. breaking news of hurricane irene. straight back to brian todd who is in north carolina. the heart of this storm. brian, can you hear me and what is going on now? >> reporter: i can hear you, piers. we still have a mild storm surge. really concerned about the entire eastern half of the state of north carolina. you can see what they are talking about. just this is not even the heart of the storm. that's coming on for several hours in this region. you can see how violent the surf is getting. officials are worried about this storm surge kind of over washing
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these beaches, these dunes here in this part of north carolina on the beaches and then heading in to town. souts going to get a lot worse in the next few hours, piers. >> brian, tell me what it actually feels like. i've never been near a hurricane. what does it feel like four standing in the middle of this thing? >> reporter: well, you know it's frighten and exhil ira ting at the same time. it's fun to be out here at least for me. it really is a great experience of nature. you really do expect power of nature when you're out here. but it is disorienting. you got winds whipping all around. you have to keep your eye out for flying debris, parts of roofs flying at you. that's been an issue, not here. but i've covered hurricanes in the past. you got to keep an eye around you for flying debris and some of it is fairly large. you have sand whipping up in your face. the water is very warm. the rain is very warm.
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pelting your face. sand pelting your face. it can be disorienting but, you know, you tend to take your bearings and get used to it. >> you're right on the coast there, right by the sea. can you imagine the power that you're feeling and the surging of the water if that is now transported into new york city, what would you imagine would happen there? >> reporter: i think they are going have a lot of problems. if this kind of force and, again, just what we're seeing, just milder kind of outer band of this hurricane, if some of the full force of this hurricane or at least some of it, stronger remnant in new york city, i think they are going have a problem. they are going have a problem with flash flooding. they will have a problem with just a lot of, you know, debris flying around p.m. and i think the difference between here and there is they are not used to handling hurricanes in new york as they are here. people here kind of know what they are doing, they know when
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to get out of the way of this thing. most people here have evacuated. they got mandatory evacuation orders for a lot of counties around here. do you worry about people in new york and whether they are going to be ready for this. >> brian, stay safe there. we'll come back to you before the end of the show. thank you very much. now i want to bring in three guys who head into monster storms. everybody else goes running. sam champion, discovery channel storm chasers. let me start with you sam. obviously building up momentum. it's looking pretty much ominous now for new york city. you've been through a lot of these things. what's your take on it with everything you knowing right now? >> with everything i know right now, again this is a storm because we haven't had anything like this in new york city, new york city needs to take seriously and indeed it does and
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it's my impression. this is a storm that will carry water up against the coastline. we'll have those winds. i think it will be tropical storm if not category 1 storm surge, if it weakens it will be less. it strengths it will admonish. the big point of this and what i want to say is based on the track, track is responsible for the prep regulates. the track is responsible for the evacuations and the track is responsible for the coverage. our job is to make people aware of what the outside possibility is with a storm like this and get them ready to survive it. if this storm were to turn or dissipate or fall apart, fine everybody is okay. that's what matters. it's getting their attention and getting them ready for this storm. i think this storm will hold together in a very powerful form for this area. not something they see and deal with and roll and flood and take a lot of power with it. it will be a real problem over the weekend. >> the key question i guess, lots of people on twitter very worried, unnerved by what they are hearing on this show from
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very expert people, unnerved what they are hearing from the president and others, what should they be doing, sam. if you were in new york right now would you leave the city? >> no. i would do exactly what -- people are watching this very carefully and they are making plans on where the water will go and what the wind will do and basically they are giving you the information and telling you what to do. if you're paying attention it you're prepared and you know. i would not and will not leave the city. i'll be here throughout the weekend working and covering the storm. even if i were here i would probably stay. you need to get out of the flood plains. any place where the water that may get in here that's five, six, seven feet high. if it floods your neighborhood you don't need to be there. if you're in a tall building, winds are stronger. you don't need to be in the highest levels. you have an all glass apartment or home or condo, you don't need to be in the windows. find an interior room. riding out wind no matter what the storm is it's going same.
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riding out a tornado or hurricane. find a protected room inside as low as you can get without any windows and you ride it out. the water is a big concern so you want to get high enough to get away from the flood. evacuate those flood areas. get off the shore line. let this storm go by. we'll repair the damage and everybody will get back to life. it really is about being prepared, piers. >> good advice, sam. turn to discovery channel storm chasers who are in north carolina. guys, you are two of the craziest people in america because everybody else runs from these things you head into them. what is your reading of what we're witnessing here with hurricane irene? >> well, i think what makes this storm really scary is just the population that's here on the east coast and just like katrina, just like the april 27th tornado outbreak you get that sick feeling in your stomach before it happens when you know there's going be damage
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and you know there's going to be people not listening to warnings and at these low elevations near sea level where you just can't survive that storm surge. i'll drive into tornadoes with our armored vehicle all day long but i'm scared to death of water and that's why you won't find us anywhere near that storm surge tomorrow. >> the key question, i guess is -- continue. >> i'm saying we got here a couple of hours ago and half the beach, half the sand is washed off the beach already. it's pretty serious stuff. it's coming in and you got to take heed of the warning. >> clearly from what we're hearing from the experts, a lot of areas, currently experiencing the hurricane are used to it. and the people that live in that area are used to it and deal with it accordingly. the problem for somebody like new york city is not used to it. not happening in my lifetime. a lot of them are very unnerved by what they are watching, what they are hearing. you guys have been in the eye of
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these storms many times. if you were in new york right now and i keep repeating this because i think it's the most important question. if you were in the city now, would you leave? >> i would probably get out a topographic map and draw a line of 25 to 30 feet and stay higher than that. you hear about these doomsday scenarios with hurricanes. you hear about new orleans, new york city. it's because of the way their coast lines irshaped. with this hurricane, if it's moving due north towards new york city the winds will be such that all that water will be jammed up a very small river and the thing that scares me about this storm and remind me of hurricane ike is that circulation is really large and it seems to have expanded throughout the day. you're piling up all that water over such a larger area and as the storm moves north even if it is winds decreasing, it will take longer for that water to
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settle down. so as this is moving north, the storm surge could be more significant than how the winds are with the hurricane. >> reed, chris, thank you very much indeed. what man who helped with recovery in katrina, what he expects from this storm. ♪ priceis it true thata-tor. name your own price.... >>...got even easier? affirmative. we'll show you other people's winning hotel bids. >>so i'll know how much to bid... ...and save up to 60% >>i'm in i know see winning hotel bids now at priceline. two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils
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joining me now is martin o'malley. what can you tell me what's is
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going on right now in your state? >> right now, piers, what's happening the window for preparation time is coming to a close as we anticipate the arrival of irene. we've done a lot of good work in the last 24, 48 hours. that's the key. our local leaders like the mayor of ocean city having the courage to order an evacuation and working together with state police and local police, it's gone very smoothly. people are listening, people are watching, people are heeding our warnings to get out of the coastal areas and out of ocean city and so far it's actually been going very well. but this is a deadly killer storm, and we have a lot of rough hours ahead of us. >> governor, lots and lots of people now coming up to say this could be the big one, the one everyone has been fearing, a direct hit along the east coast. put it in perspective for me.
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you've been through a few of these things before. are people right to be as concerned as they are sounding? >> people are absolutely right to be concerned about this. look, piers, in modern times in maryland we've never ordered a. mandatory evacuation of ocean city. what we have now going on through many parts of our states is mandatory evacuations of low-lying areas where more susceptible than most states to coastal flooding. this is a very serious and deadly storm. this is the real thing. and people are very right to take it seriously. i mean for the first 72 hours that this monster hit, families are on their own. so the first 72 are on you. and moms and dads need to make provisions for their families if they can get out of the way of this storm. that's ideal. if they can't have provision to hunker down for the first 72 hours.
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critical lew important. there will be power outages. there will be fallen trees. there will be a lot of debris. this is a deadly and giant storm. >> governor, thank you very much indeed. good luck there. >> thank you, piers. >> now i want to turn to general russel honore. thank you for joining me. are you fearing a similar kind of catastrophe that we saw in katrina, if this hits new york? >> well it could happen, piers. we had about an 80% evacuation of mississippi and louisiana before katrina hit. and what i've seen this afternoon in tracing my sources, we're having a good evacuation in the coastal areas and the barrier islands in the carolinas. i'm not quite sure what that evacuation percentage would be when we get into the highly populated areas and from results of previous storms the majority
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of people that die are the elderly, the disabled and the poor. what i'm looking for government officials to start accounting for is how many people from that vulnerable population are still in those cities. >> do you believe that post-katrina enough lessons were learned by fema, by the government and remember else involved in trying to control these situations, do you think lessons have been learned enough to prevent anything like katrina happening again? >> i think government certainly has changed. fema is a lean forward organization. they get there before the storm happens and immediately prepare to start helping local governments. that was a big change that was directed by congress and i think we have a cultural change. what i think that hasn't changed is dealing with the enormous disaster and when people become isolated without power or water for several days. in this particular area we're
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looking at the projected area of this storm is going to hit and the population, i hope people have taken serious the evacuation warnings as given by local people and get out of the low-lying areas. >> you know, lots of people are watching this show, and tweeting me and they are concerned and anxious and they are saying, you know, you guys are whipping this up too much. there's hyperbole here. i don't think it is. if it does veer off course at the last moments that's great and everybody will have been warned and prepared. if there's a direct hit on somewhere like new york city, this is going very serious isn't it? >> absolutely. i think we have had a cultural shift one government because working with hurricanes for about the last ten or 12 years while i was in uniform, local governments and governors were reluctant to make that decision to evacuate because of the impact if the evacuated people
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and the storm didn't come. so i think that's been one big change we're seeing now. but, the options of not evacuating people with the warnings that we have now and the accuracy of the prediction need to be done. >> general honore, thank you very much indeed. a question that many people are asking tonight is will their cell phone work in the event of a hurricane. the answer when we come back. if you don't have an iphone, you don't have airplay. which makes it easy to play music from your phone, on your stereo or see the photos you've taken on your tv. and if you want to share your favorite movie, that's easy too. airplay. just one more thing that makes an iphone and iphone. look at all this stuff for coffee. oh there's tons. french presses, espresso tampers, filters. it can get really complicated.
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a lot of people are asking tonight, will their phones work if this hurricane strikes. what is the simple answer? >> the simple answer, piers, is yes. if history is any indication, the vast majority of our cell service will be working throughout the hurricane. we've had tremendous amount of opportunity and experience throughout the past ten years at verizon wireless. and we've performed extremely well. >> obviously we're trying to be as useful as possible here. if the hurricane hits somewhere like new york and there is substantial damage and lots of flooding and so on, if you're safe is it better to stay off the cell phone network so that you can allow people who need help to get it? >> well, i would say this, piers. in times of hurricanes, et cetera, if you can make a phone call, generally the network is not congested. with evacuations, with folks taking care of other
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responsibilities, the cell phone network is generally not congested in those areas. but with that said, i think it's prudent for folks to use the phone as needed and make the phone calls short. use text messaging. use e-mail, et cetera. and just leave the airwaves as free as possible. it's just prudent for everyone to take precautions. >> what happens if the storm is so strong that it starts smashing down your infrastructure in terms of towers and so on? >> well, generally, again, the best thing we can do for -- in preparation for a hurricane is to build a foundational network which we do at verizon that's built on reliability and redundancy. so we have that as a starting point. and then on top of that we build a robust plan to be ready to react. and none of us can predict what will happen in the event of a hurricane. but in the event some things do happen, we have people in place staged to respond. we have towers in place,
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portable towers. we have portable generators. we have extra capacity. and we have what we call cells on wheels, which are portable cell sites that we can deploy. and again, provide service back in an area that has been impacted by storm damage. >> mr. melone, thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. and we'll be right back after this break. tting more expensive, so we switched to the bargain detergent, but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. [ laughs ] thanks, honey. yeah. you suck at folding. [ laughs ] that's my tide. what's yours? [ female announcer ] find the tide that's right for you at tide.com.
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going to go straight back to chad myers in the cnn hurricane center. chad, just a few moments left of the show. bring me up to speed exactly where we are right now with irene. >> we are at an eye of irene about 180 miles from making landfall first thing tomorrow morning. if you want to get out of coastal carolina it's almost too late at this point. plus you have no time tomorrow. so it's either time to go or time to hunker down and stay
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there. there's the eye right there. there's the center. it is moving on very close to where our john zarrella is or toward the coastal sections right there. and we have another reporter right there, brian todd. from virginia beach the wind now pushing waves, water into the chesapeake bay. that could cause a little coastal flooding up into the chesapeake. then tomorrow the waves and the wind just blow onshore all day. and watch by tomorrow night some of that water may be piling up in new york. piers? >> well, it's a very worrying situation. chad, thank you very much.
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